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Taxed Enough Already Party Turns 5 Years Old

by coldwarrior ( 149 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Economy, Libertarianism, Open thread, Politics, Republican Party, taxation, Tea Parties at February 20th, 2014 - 8:00 am

Yesterday marks the Fifth anniversary of the Rant Heard Round The World.  The Taxed Enough Already Party is 5 years old now.

 

Tea Party Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the modern tea party movement, which began with a single rant from CNBC’s Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

“A lot of people have been credited with starting the modern-day tea party but make no mistake, it was Rick Santelli,” conservative talk show host Glenn Beck said  in an email to Business Insider. “His off the cuff monologue spoke the words that millions of Americans felt but could not nor dare not speak.”

Santelli was ranting, as he is known to do on CNBC, on Feb. 19, 2009 about the homeowner bailout that was being proposed by the Obama administration.

“We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July,” Santelli said in 2009. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing.”

In 2010, Santelli called the rant the “best five minutes of my life.”

He told Business Insider that he doesn’t “feel any differently now.”

“Lots of people, companies and agencies played a role but that day I was focused on the homeowners that failed in their personal financial responsibility,” he said. “It was about contract law and about the government promoting bad behavior.”

Santelli said he thinks that he “said something that lit the fuse” that led to the modern-day tea party movement.

“I was fed up, the country was fed up … taxpayers were on the hook after the credit bubble popped,” Santelli said.

The tea party is credited for fueling the GOP’s win in the House in 2010 and still remains a force in the Republican Party and politics.

The Fiscal Conservative movement has not gone away either.  Our own side has tried to drown us or take us over, idiots and charlatans have claimed to be our leaders, and the media has Alynskied us. We don’t care. My little group plans for some action this summer and fall for the election of more Fiscal Conservatives. We all work for a living, so it can’t be year round. We have to pick our time wisely.

And, I am in the process of educating 6 young professionals in the ways of economics, educating them and letting them make up their own mind of matters of fiscal policy.  This could easily be 6 votes for the GOP that were for Obama; yeah, they made a mistake, so what.  Now they have learned a valuable lesson. These folks are pretty libertarian, meaning that they don’t want the government on their back 24/7. They want to pay less taxes. They want to just live their lives, make some money, enjoy more liberty. I’ve had two of them read Barry Goldwater and they had an epiphany.  Heysoos talks about wanting to see action. Well, there it is, I can deliver 6 votes for the Taxed Enough Already Fiscon/libertarian wing.  It’s up to the GOP not to screw it up.  This is the future because I am going to bet that this sort of ‘conversion’ is happening all around the nation.

Get Konnected With The Kronies OOT

by Macker ( 78 Comments › )
Filed under Bailouts, Humor, OOT, Regulation, taxation, Unions at January 24th, 2014 - 11:00 pm

Heads They Win, Tails You Lose….

Yes, there really IS a website for these “action figures” and here it is! According to the site, it purports to offer these characters for sale…but not yet…all those regulatory and confiscatory statutes, policy mandates, and political paybacks have to be met first!
While everyone’s waiting for that, let’s go right into The Overnight Open Thread!

The Fiscon Lament, We Are Losing Freedom!

by coldwarrior ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Regulation, Special Report, taxation at January 15th, 2014 - 9:27 am

Guess what, GOP? This hits everyone in the pocketbook. Can we please deregulate and get taxation into a logical and more predictable system? Or would that be too much to ask, too much freedom given back to the hoi polloi.

America’s Dwindling Economic Freedom

Regulation, taxes and debt knock the U.S. out of the world’s top 10.

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

For 20 years, the index has measured a nation’s commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.

Getty Images

Those losing freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions. For instance, heavy-handed government intervention in Brazil’s economy continues to limit mobility and fuel a sense of injustice.

It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.

But as the U.S. economy languishes, many countries are leaping ahead, thanks to policies that enhance economic freedom—the same ones that made the U.S. economy the most powerful in the world. Governments in 114 countries have taken steps in the past year to increase the economic freedom of their citizens. Forty-three countries, from every part of the world, have now reached their highest economic freedom ranking in the index’s history.

Hong Kong continues to dominate the list, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. These are the only countries to earn the index’s “economically free” designation. Mauritius earned top honors among African countries and Chile excelled in Latin America. Despite the turmoil in the Middle East, several Gulf states, led by Bahrain, earned designation as “mostly free.”

A realignment is under way in Europe, according to the index’s findings. Eighteen European nations, including Germany, Sweden, Georgia and Poland, have reached new highs in economic freedom. By contrast, five others—Greece, Italy, France, Cyprus and the United Kingdom—registered scores lower than they received when the index started two decades ago.

The most improved players are in Eastern Europe, including Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. These countries have gained the most economic freedom over the past two decades. And it’s no surprise: Those who have lived under communism have no trouble recognizing the benefits of a free-market system. But countries that have experimented with milder forms of socialism, such as Sweden, Denmark and Canada, also have made impressive moves toward greater economic freedom, with gains near 10 points or higher on the index scale. Sweden, for instance, is now ranked 20th out of 178 countries, up from 34th out of 140 countries in 1996.

The U.S. and the U.K, historically champions of free enterprise, have suffered the most pronounced declines. Both countries now fall in the “mostly free” category. Some of the worst performers are in Latin America, particularly Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. All are governed by crony-populist regimes pushing policies that have made property rights less secure, spending unsustainable and inflation evermore threatening.

Despite financial crises and recessions, the global economy has expanded by nearly 70% in 20 years, to $54 trillion in 2012 from $32 trillion in 1993. Hundreds of millions of people have left grinding poverty behind as their economies have become freer. But it is an appalling, avoidable human tragedy how many of the world’s peoples remain unfree—and poor.

The record of increasing economic freedom elsewhere makes it inexcusable that a country like the U.S. continues to pursue policies antithetical to its own growth, while wielding its influence to encourage other countries to chart the same disastrous course. The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom documents a world-wide race to enhance economic opportunity through greater freedom—and this year’s index demonstrates that the U.S. needs a drastic change in direction.

#Obamacare: “If you like your health care subsidy, you may not be able to keep it.”

by 1389AD ( 81 Comments › )
Filed under Election 2014, Healthcare, taxation at January 13th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Another hidden Obamacare tax that few people know about:

Taxpayer screwed

GOPUSA: Obamacare has more bad news in store for you

WASHINGTON — Forget Obamacare website woes and disappointing early enrollment figures. Those problems are so 2013.

The New Year will bring a set of new and far more potentially perilous obstacles for President Obama’s signature health care law. These looming problems could not only doom the troubled law if no solution is found, but they also will hover over 2014 midterm candidates as Democrats scramble to hold onto their Senate majority amid polls that show Obamacare to be their biggest problem.

The surprise tax hit.

Most people know that the health care law provides subsidies for qualifying individuals to help offset the costs of signing up for health care coverage. Most people, however, are unaware that those subsidies can come back to bite the recipients if they have one of several major life events during 2014, such as a marriage, a new job or a job promotion. Come tax time, those individuals can face an unexpected bill from the IRS for the repayment of the subsidy.

“This is an issue that no one seems to be talking about yet,” one GOP strategist told me. “But that will certainly change soon.”

You can already imagine the slogans: “If you like your health care subsidy, you may not be able to keep it.”

More here.

NC City Councilman Resigns…in Klingon

by Macker ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under government, Headlines, taxation at January 3rd, 2014 - 10:42 pm

Here’s the letter:

He isn’t a Demo☭rat either…otherwise we’d all have a field day with this. Perhaps we should wish him…Qa’pla!

Sometimes Punting Is The Proper Play

by Flyovercountry ( 165 Comments › )
Filed under Debt, Democratic Party, Economy, Republican Party, taxation at December 12th, 2013 - 7:00 am

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

“The fault Dear Brutus is not within our stars, but within ourselves that we are underlings.”

I’m going to take a contrarian position today, both from one which my fellow conservatives are taking, and from the position that I myself would usually take. Here is my position, we should go for the Ryan/Murray deal, and we should go for it quietly. I know that most of you reading this will blast me for my heresy, and let me state for the record, I agree in advance with most of what you’re going to say. I only ask in advance, that you consider my arguments at least a little before passing your judgement.

First off, our current predicament is entirely due to the fact that we have not won sufficient elections recently to establish our will, nor even to adequately represent our wishes upon the national scene. That is a fact of life. Elections have consequences, and what we have happening in Washington right now is just the brutal reminder of the beautiful truth behind that statement. There is a second part to this however. Until we start winning elections, and winning them in bulk, we will never again get our way, no matter how passionately we state our well reasoned arguments. While I agree that we are far too often duped by some pretender or traitor, there are also some good people from our side who have stood up for their principles and done what was promised, and those people deserve our support.

The next point I’d like to make is that while this deal sucks, the current spending level can only be described as insane, and we are well into the period of time when according to the last deal, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, promised that the future cuts would be taking place, we both know that this was where we were going to end up anyhow. No matter how fiercely our brave House Members fought, and no matter how tight a budget they passed and sent to the Senate, it would be DOA. The Senate would reject it, Harry Reid would strip up the version sent over, the Senate Democrats would have passed an amended version that would have been this monstrosity or worse, and the GOP in the House would have caved like cheap suits. After a long protracted fight in which this bill or worse would have been signed into law, we would have all been left feeling violated once again, and wondered what in the world they even bothered for anyhow.

Another thing that I’d like to mention is this. The entire process is nothing more right now than one giant squirrel, as in the variety that I warned about yesterday. Barack Obama is bleeding, and any budget fight right now would represent a fierce distraction from his bleeding carcass, and one by the way that would almost guarantee his regaining popularity, at least amongst his base. Winning elections should be our top priority. Obamacare is the gift that will do that for us, or at least be a major help. By November of next year, the employer mandate will up the number of previously insured but no longer able to afford it Americans to about 150 Million pissed off people. All of the above will be searching for their pitch forks and torches. We can spend the next year helping to keep them focused on the one single issue that will help us rid our Universe of the Marxists for at least a generation, or we can allow ourselves and our fellow citizens to become distracted, throwing away the gift that reality and Team Obama have so thoughtfully given. Paul Ryan’s budget was a political maneuver, and while many of us do not like those, losing the tactical war has been part of our downfall for a very long time. Frankly, I’m happy to see that at least one member of the GOP finally gets that, and has done something about it.

Like it or not, this is the price to be paid for those protest votes, purity tests, staying home on election day because you didn’t like that your guy lost and the other guy’s candidate won in the primaries. As Jimmy Johnson told his Dolphin Team during a playoff game in which they got beat by over 50 points, “if you don’t like it, do something about it.” There is only one something that can be done about it. Yes, our guys got slammed tactically when they controlled the Senate, House, and the White House, and they let us down by continuing to act like Democrats. Since then however, there have been 80 or so worthy Tea Party House Members elected and a few in the Senate. The answer is not to stop supporting them, the answer is to get more of their kind elected, so that they can make a difference.

Ryan’s punt may seem like a purposeful throwing of the game, but it is not. He is a policy wonk, and is playing chess, while others are playing checkers. What he is trying to avoid, and succeeding at avoiding by the way, is 8 weeks of headlines in which the GOP is blamed for throwing grandma off of the cliff, starving puppy dogs, while the Obamacare disaster takes to the back pages, all for the grand prize of having an even worse deal passed in the end anyhow. He has punted with the wind at his back, and has decided to let his defense try to force the fumble, and right now, their offense has shown that they are prone to fumbling the ball. The best and only path to having your way right now is the exact path that Paul Ryan has chosen to take. We need to have our guys win in both 2014 and 2016. Without that, cutting spending will be nothing more than a pipe dream, no matter how loudly we all proclaim to want that.

For the record, here’s what the Heritage Foundation had to say about it.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

State Tax Policy and Growth

by coldwarrior ( 107 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Open thread, Politics, Regulation, taxation at December 3rd, 2013 - 8:00 am

Death and taxes are, of course, inevitable. Death is unchanged, it never stops. Taxes on the other hand, while inevitable, can be changed. Taxes can be written in such a way as to promote growth and spending can be curbed so that the State government isn’t always looking for more ways to get blood out of a stone.

This map is interesting, it gives us a nice snapshot:

http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/2014%20State%20Business%20Tax%20Climate%20Index.png

Lower taxes are not the only thing that determines employment, see this map. There is correlation, but it isn’t as strong as I thought it would be. Of course there is one major item missing from both of these maps, regulation. Here is the most recent map from BLS.

I was unable to come up with a map that showed total regulation by state or by complexity. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on how to define that one.  We can assume that regulations cost companies money so it is in fact a tax.

 

Below is a table of GDP per capita by state. Visit the link to move the rows around to get the complete picture.

2013 list GDP by State.

List of U.S. states and territories by GDP in 2013[3]
GDP
Rank
State
territory
GDP
($Millions)
Percentage of
national GDP
Population
(Millions)
GDP
per capita ($)
GDP Rank
per capita
35  District of Columbia 104,700 0.72 0.6 174,500 1
41  Delaware 62,700 0.43 0.9 69,667 2
46  Alaska 45,600 0.31 0.7 65,143 3
23  Connecticut 233,400 1.61 3.6 64,833 4
48  Wyoming 38,200 0.26 0.6 63,667 5
12  Massachusetts 377,700 2.60 6.5 58,108 6
2  Texas 1,458,300 8.92 25.1 58,099 7
3  New York 1,156,500 7.68 19.4 57,423 8
7  New Jersey 497,000 3.42 8.8 56,477 9
9  Virginia 427,700 2.95 8.0 53,463 10
14  Washington 351,100 2.42 6.7 52,403 11
19  Colorado 259,700 1.79 5.0 51,940 12
1  California 2,080,600 13.34 37.3 51,914 13
15  Maryland 300,000 2.07 5.8 51,724 14
17  Minnesota 267,100 1.84 5.3 50,396 15
5  Illinois 644,200 4.44 12.8 50,328 16
47  South Dakota 39,900 0.27 0.8 49,875 17
37  Nebraska 89,600 0.62 1.8 49,778 18
39  Hawaii 68,900 0.47 1.4 49,214 19
30  Iowa 147,200 1.01 3.0 49,067 20
50  North Dakota 33,400 0.23 0.7 47,714 21
 United States 16,202,700 100.00 316.8 47,482
24  Louisiana 213,600 1.47 4.5 47,467 22
42  New Hampshire 61,600 0.42 1.3 47,385 23
32  Nevada 127,500 0.88 2.7 47,222 24
6  Pennsylvania 575,600 3.97 12.7 45,323 25
45  Rhode Island 49,500 0.34 1.1 45,000 26
26  Oregon 168,900 1.16 3.8 44,447 27
31  Kansas 128,500 0.89 2.9 44,310 28
20  Wisconsin 251,400 1.73 5.7 44,105 29
51  Vermont 26,400 0.18 0.6 44,000 30
10  North Carolina 407,400 2.81 9.5 42,884 31
29  Oklahoma 160,500 1.11 3.8 42,237 32
8  Ohio 483,400 3.33 11.5 42,035 33
33  Utah 116,900 0.81 2.8 41,750 34
11  Georgia 403,100 2.79 9.7 41,711 35
16  Indiana 267,600 1.84 6.5 41,169 36
22  Missouri 246,700 1.70 6.0 41,117 37
44  Maine 53,200 0.37 1.3 40,923 38
18  Arizona 261,300 1.80 6.4 40,828 39
4  Florida 754,000 5.20 18.8 40,106 40
21  Tennessee 250,300 1.72 6.3 39,730 41
13  Michigan 372,400 2.57 9.9 37,616 42
28  Kentucky 161,400 1.11 4.3 37,535 43
49  Montana 37,200 0.26 1.0 37,200 44
34  Arkansas 105,800 0.73 2.9 36,483 45
25  Alabama 174,400 1.20 4.8 36,333 46
38  New Mexico 75,500 0.52 2.1 35,952 47
27  South Carolina 164,300 1.13 4.6 35,717 48
40  West Virginia 66,600 0.46 1.9 35,053 49
43  Idaho 54,800 0.38 1.6 34,250 50
36  Mississippi 98,900 0.68 3.0 32,967 51

While we are comparing states and their economics, lets look at debt by state. This is by percentage of State Product and not as a total because some economies are larger than others.

http://thestatesproject.org/wp-content/themes/organic_nonprofit/images/statemap5-totaldebt.png

What we see here is that it is not just taxes that have an impact on economic performance. There are 50 different laboratories out there. Some get it right, some don’t.

More People Sign-up for One-way Ticket to Mars Than Sign-up for Obamacare

by huckfunn Comments Off
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Corruption, Cult of Obama, Debt, Democratic Party, Economy, government, Headlines, Health Care, IRS, Marxism, Misery Index, Regulation, Socialism, taxation, unemployment at October 18th, 2013 - 8:41 am

I’m shocked… shocked. The Obamacare monstrosity is the worst law ever imposed on the American people. I hope the voters will remember that next year.

A startup venture recruiting people for a one-way, 43 million mile trip to live on Mars has generated more signatures than all the Obamacare health insurance plans combined.

Just 712 people in Vermont have enrolled in the state’s new health insurance exchange, despite $9 million in outreach, advertising and other PR expenses paid for by the federal government.

The entire state of Alaska has yet to register a single person, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

(‘Juneau how many people have signed up?’ asks one cheeky blogger. ‘Hint: It’s a round number!’)

A CNN medical correspondent has found that the online Obamacare system, which was reportedly first tested just days before its Oct. 1 launch, is now spontaneously deleting some Americans’ passwords.

The website itself, according to The Weekly Standard, includes pilfered source code but excludes a required copyright notice required by its author.

With $394 million in contracts in the rear-view mirror, the Obama administration has an online white elephant on its hands that hasn’t worked as advertised.

Krystal Ball, an MSNBC commentator best known for a series of racy ‘naughty Santa’ photos that circled the Internet in 2010, confessed on Thursday that she was ‘embarrassed to admit’ she once worked for the company that created the federal government’s Obamacare website.

Is the Affordable Care Act officially the most dysfunctional and disaster-prone launch in history?

Congress, which suddenly has time on its hands after weeks of shutdown and debt-Armageddon liars poker, is about to ask some tough questions.

Read the entire article here. 

Prof Laffer Returns!

by coldwarrior ( 98 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, taxation at October 16th, 2013 - 4:58 pm

Professor Laffer returns, and the Taxed Enough Already Party cheers!

 

 

‘Laffer Curve’ Creator Back in the Tax Game

Image: 'Laffer Curve' Creator Back in the Tax Game

Dr. Arthur Laffer, Economist and professor at University of Southern California, with “Laffer Curve” on blackboard, Feb. 23, 1981.

Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 03:14 PM

By Lisa Barron

Four decades after economist Arthur Laffer drew his now-famous “Laffer curve” on the back of a napkin to show how tax cuts would create an economic boom, he is back in the limelight.

In the past couple of years, Laffer, whose curve inspired Reaganomics, has advised about a dozen GOP governors looking for ways to cut tax rates in their states, Politico reports.

“Laffer is certainly experiencing a renaissance in his popularity,” Jonathan Williams of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council told the publication. “He’s just as effective today as he was 30 years ago.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry is one of Laffer’s biggest fans attributing his state’s economic success to Laffer’s formula. Speaking at the launch of the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics in Austin in 2011, Perry said, “By sticking to the principles Dr. Laffer has advocated, like low taxes. Texas has become a beacon for employers fleeing the job-crushing atmosphere that has taken hold in other states.”

Laffer also helped Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback push through his tax reform plans, joining the governor in several public appearances touting the positive impact of lower taxes.

Other Laffer devotees reportedly include Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming, and Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina.

Laffer explained his theories to Politico in Nashville recently, saying, “If you raise taxes … some people may actually leave your state. Some people … leave the labor force and stay home. Others may choose to not employ people, so unemployment rates go higher.”

Critics still decry his theories, though, on websites such as Economist’s View, saying they don’t hold up in practice.

But Laffer continues to have the ear of leading GOP politicians. “Art Laffer is one of the most influential economists in the business,” Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s former chief economist, told Politico.

“If you ask a lot of people how relevant he is today, they’d say: ‘He’s an ’80s story.’ They’re wrong,” he said.

Back to the future with Bill de Blasio; and a politician’s philosophy tends to be consistent, abroad and at home

by Speranza ( 113 Comments › )
Filed under Cuba, Democratic Party, Economy, Liberal Fascism, Politics, Progressives, Socialism, taxation at September 26th, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Since 1978 New York City has been run reasonably well (under Mayors Koch, Giuliani, and Bloomberg – yes Bloomberg is annoying with his nannyisms but the City for the most part has still been well run) the exception being the four years of hell (1990 -94) under David Dinkins. Sadly it appears we are about to go back to the future of the “good old days” of the 1970′s.

by Michael Goodwin

Extra, extra, read all about it. Not all New Yorkers have the same incomes! Not all have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams! And most — gasp! — don’t live on Park Avenue or have nannies and housekeepers!

If this doesn’t strike you as breathtaking news, then you didn’t drink the Kool-Aid and join Bill de Blasio’s movement. I say movement because de Blasio doesn’t just want to be mayor. He has discovered there is poverty in Gotham and many other pesky outcomes where some people do better than others. And he intends to end that disparity.

“Fighting inequality and fighting economic injustice,” as he put it, is what he’s all about.

Good luck with that, but before New Yorkers jump onto the Democrat’s bound-for-utopia bandwagon, some history is required. We could start with Karl Marx, but we’d just get lost trying to decode the incomprehensible differences among Marxists, Leninists and Trotskyites.

Instead, let’s look at Cuba, which, strictly by the numbers, reflects the paradise de Blasio describes. Fidel and Raul Castro had their way for 54 years and pulled off the socialist dream: The island nation had the least income inequality in the world, a survey found. North Korea also was off the charts.

Of course, there are some peculiar facts about Cuban exceptionalism. Everybody is equally poor, with average monthly wages of $19, while children’s shoes can cost nearly as much.

And that much-ballyhooed health-care system? It’s a joke. Bring your own sheets, bedpans and food to the hospital, and pray you don’t die of infections or neglect. True, it is free, so your family won’t get stuck with a capitalist-size bill to bury you. What a relief that must be.

On my visit to Cuba, I was struck by the total breakdown of everything except the police state. Havana’s once-glorious architecture is crumbling, and there are chickens and pigs, but no running water, in large parts of the central city.

Half the cars are owned by the government, and the other half belong in antique shops. Smaller cities look as though they are stuck in the 19th century, with public transportation consisting of a man guiding a horse-drawn wagon.  [.........]

I’m not suggesting de Blasio could take New York back that far, at least not in one term. But his rhetoric about a “tale of two cities” and his repeated promises to use City Hall’s power to erase inequality mean we would be fools not to take him seriously. As Barack Obama is proving on a national scale, a charismatic, ambitious ideologue with no understanding of economics can do a lot of damage in a short time.

Even more troubling, de Blasio is not alone. Council Member Letitia James, one of two candidates left in the race to succeed him as public advocate, blasted Mayor Bloomberg Friday for saying it would be a “godsend” if “we could get every billionaire around the world to move here.”

[........]

Hers is a common mistake on the left. The obvious resentment she has about other people’s money leads her to assume that success and failure alike depend on government, and that the poor would be rich if only the government helped them more. If you believe that, it follows that bureaucrats should aim to level the results.

Sooner and later, more socialism means more human misery. But true believers never grasp the basic fact that, if you penalize success, there won’t be any. Remove the consequences of failure and there will be more of it.

Naturally, utopia will be led by elites who know what’s best for everyone else. Whether in Cuba, North Korea or Washington, the mandarins will be cosseted by comforts taken from others.

People who know de Blasio well say he is smart, just as many say Obama is smart. But smart is as smart does, and we ought to save the word for those who can help make the economic pie bigger instead of just trying to re-divide the pie we have. That would be the smart thing to do if you wanted all New Yorkers to prosper.

Read the rest - De Blasio’s Cuban vision for New York City

People such as Bill de Blasio and Barack Obama could never make it in private industry. Only in the field of progressive politics is where mediocrities and ideologues can thrive.

by Michael Goodwin

Trying to defend the indefensible, Bill de Blasio explained his work with Nicaraguan communists this way.

“They had a youthful energy and idealism mixed with a human ability and practicality that was really inspirational,” he told a reporter, before conceding that his heroes were “not free enough by any stretch of the imagination.”

To summarize his argument, on one hand you have energy and idealism, and on the other you have prison and the murder of dissidents. But the leaders meant well and, besides, nobody is perfect.

In a nutshell — emphasis on nut — the Democratic nominee for mayor has outed himself as a supporter of oppression, as long as it comes from the far left. He also expressed his fondness for “democratic socialism,” which is like calling himself a socialist.

The revelations in the New York Times about de Blasio’s warped world view, and history of aiding such despots as Fidel Castro, draw a ho-hum response from fellow lefties. Even if they didn’t know of de Blasio’s admiration for dictators, they surely recognize him as one of their own when he uses the code words of “fighting inequality and economic injustice.”

But for sensible New Yorkers, the emerging portrait of the man poised to be mayor should set off alarm bells. His past, combined with his pro-tax, anti-police agenda, confirm that De Blasio is not your garden-variety liberal like the Democrats he defeated in the primary. Their incremental approach is mainstream compared to his vision of social revolution.

His activism marks him as a hard-line leftist who, as an adult, spouted the idea that the United States was a problem in the world.  [........]

Where does he stand on the autocratic reign of the late Hugo Chavez? What about the Mideast — is Israel the problem? The more we know about him, the more we need to know.

And not because every mayor has a foreign policy. A politician’s philosophy tends to be consistent, abroad and at home. Someone who favors government power over individual liberty for Latin Americans is likely to hold the same view about New Yorkers.

A charitable way to describe de Blasio is that he is naive. But such charity is itself naive.

Consider that de Blasio and his wife snuck into Cuba for their honeymoon in 1994. It was apparently an illegal trip, which would explain why they first flew to Canada. It could also explain why they didn’t tell their children, according to their daughter, who said she recently learned of it. She hailed the trip as “badass.” Indeed.

She’s not alone in needing a lesson about the Cuba of those days. The collapse of the Soviet Union meant the end of vital subsidies and most of Cuba’s trade. The island nation, after 45 years of Castro and communism, looked to be in a death spiral.

America saw a chance for improving relations, and President Clinton sent Harry Belafonte and others to meet with Castro about easing the trade embargo. “Forget it, leave it as it is,” Castro responded, according to a member of the delegation.

Castro feared ordinary Cubans would revolt if they tasted the political, economic and religious freedom that would follow an opening. Nor did he and his gangster government want to give up control of the lucrative black market in goods and oil. [......]

So when de Blasio went to help, he was not helping the Cuban people. Similarly, his support for the Sandinistas added to the misery of ordinary Nicaraguans, yet he remains proud.

“I have an activist’s desire to improve people’s lives,” he told the Times.

George Will recently observed that the whole point of modern liberalism is for liberals to feel good about themselves.

By that standard, de Blasio’s waltzes with dictators are a roaring success for his self-esteem. For everyone else, there is only tyranny and misery.

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